Abstract

Infection and multiplication of Leishmania infantum and L. mexicana inside of skin fibroblasts from hamsters, mice and rats was achieved. This process was demonstrated either by counting parasites inside the stained cells or by electronic microscopy studies. In addition multiplication rate differences in the cells from these rodent species were determined, for L. infantum as well as for L. mexicana. Parasite development in hamsters and mice fibroblasts was evident but there was not multiplication in rat cells showing that apparently they are refractory to Leishmania infection. These results suggest that the parasite affinity for each animal, as well as any intracellular environment resistance, could involve genetic factors in the parasite multiplication. On the other hand, presence of amastigote multiplication inside of parasitophorus vacuole, showed by electronic microscopy images, probes a true parasite transformation. Therefore it is suggested that fibroblasts could work as host cells for parasite survival and permanency in the infected animals.